(WFLA) – As the summer comes to a close, Bucified Bert is very excited for football season to start in Tampa Bay. Even more so, he was excited about returning to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
He got a chance to go back on May 2, when Bucified Bert, also known as Albert Owens, and his team visited the new Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
This was part of the Bucified & OLE is Alive Mission, OLE (Operation Legacy Emma Lee). The mission is in memory of his late mother and started in 2004. Bucified Bert refers to her as “Emma Lee, The Legend”.
He can’t stop thinking about the wonderful memories from his first visit to the hospital, and was eager to make more.
Bucified Bert started out as a character that showed his fandom for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is now a movement for the next generation. Team Bucified & OLE is Alive includes his niece and the granddaughter of his late mother Emma Lee, Tierra Carpenter, Javaris Gooding Butts, a saxophonist and a recipient of the 2011 Bucified & OLE is Alive Scholarship who provided music for the kids.
Several queens were in attendance such as Keisha Abelgas, Miss Sunshine State 2015-2016, Simona Rivero, Miss Winter Park, and Michaela Abelgas, the reigning National American Miss 2015-2016. These queens are committed to helping Bucified & OLE is Alive Mission, they are passionate when opportunities present itself to volunteer for an organization that is driven by integrity and honesty.
Also on hand to capture this moment on video was the Hillsborough Community College Hawk Television crew. These students were able to make a classroom project out of the event.
Michaela Abelgas, the reigning National American Miss 2015-2016 said that “this entire experience was incredibly rewarding, being able to give back to my community, and make patients feel better is an awesome gift. I can’t imagine what they are going through right now, and not just the children but the parents as well.”
With the help of Roy Adams, the media coordinator at All Children’s Hospital, Bucified Bert, and his team were able to visit children and present them with gifts.
“We had a chance to raise millions of dollars over two decades, because of the partnership between WFLA-TV and the All Children`s Hospital, through the annual telethon fundraiser. I’ve always wanted an opportunity to come back to the hospital once the telethons ended in June of 2014, and with Roy Adams asking me, as Bucifeid, to return by entertaining the kids, this is something that I have enjoyed. I love hearing the stories of the many young lives that are being healed and knowing that I have played a part by helping the hospital move to its new facilities said Bucified,” Albert Owens said.
Owens expressed how his mother always wanted him to be a positive role model for others which inspired his name of “Bucified” to become the acronym “Be Understanding Citizens, Identify Friendly Individuals Each Day.” He later went on to add “because a stranger can be a danger.” He subscribes to the old cliché, that an ounce of prevention, is worth more than a pound of cure.
Bucified Bert, Michaela, and others were able to bring joy to the patients and their parents who were genuinely appreciative of their effort. “The visit went very well. They’re going to have memories that they’ll never forget because of this experience. The Mission that began in 2004, and this year’s visit to All Children’s Hospital during the week following Mother’s Day 2016, helped to minimize the pain of not seeing my own mother, but knowing that I have helped others and continue to impact the next generation feels really, really good,” said Bert.
“The visit went very well,” Bert said. “They’re going to have memories that they’ll never forget because of this experience. The Mission that began in 2004, and this year’s visit to All Children’s Hospital during the week following Mother’s Day 2016, helped to minimize the pain of not seeing my own mother, but knowing that I have helped others and continue to impact the next generation feels really, really good.”